ECU hoops drops regular season finale to Cincinnati, 82-69

Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 7:16 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Junior Jayden Gardner scored a game-high 23 points on senior day, but his efforts could not overcome the athleticism and size of Cincinnati in an 82-69 loss Sunday inside Minges Coliseum.

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With the loss, the Pirates fall to 8-10 (2-10 AAC) and drop to the No. 11 seed in the upcoming AAC Tournament. ECU will face No. 6 UCF in the first round on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. ET.

With the win, the Bearcats improve to 10-10 (8-6 AAC) and earn the No. 5 seed. They will battle No. 4 SMU in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 8.

Jeremiah Davenport and Mason Madsen led four Bearcats in double figures in Sunday’s victory.

Tristen Newton and Brandon Suggs both scored 13 points for the Pirates in defeat.


“Our offensive ineptness has put our defense in trouble. You can’t score and every time it puts so much pressure on your defense. We came out of the halftime and we knew they were going to throw the ball to the big fella, and we give up a layup. We sort of eased back into it, but we do need to make some shots. A lot of it is timing and a lot of that is repetition. We’ll try to do that the next couple of days.” - ECU Head Coach Joe Dooley

“We’ve just to keep working and get past these things. Just next shot, next shot mentality. We’re always going to keep working. But we have to be able to make that jump. And once we do, I think we’ll be able to stay in these games. It’s always a quick two-minute stretch where we can’t hit anything, and things go wrong.” - Junior forward Jayden Gardner


  • ECU finished with 18 assists on 19 made field goals for its best assist/field goals made percentage of the season (.947).
  • The Pirates lost for only the second time this season when they had more assists (18) than turnovers (9). ECU is now 8-2 when registering more assists than turnovers.
  • Gardner posted his 10th 20-point game of the season and 33rd of his career. He has scored 20 or more in more than 40 percent (.4125) of the 80 games he has played in his career.
  • Gardner shot double digit free throws for the fifth straight game. He has made 42-of-57 (.736) free throw attempts during those games.
  • Newton scored double figures for the second straight game and third time in five games.
  • Suggs matched his season-high for rebounds with eight.
  • Debaut posted career-bests for free throws made (5) and attempted (6).

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